Now that I'm mostly, *knock on wood*, over the whole "sickness" phase of pregnancy I can talk about what helped ME get through those dark, dark, darrrrrrk days.
I don't know why, but I never took morning sickness too seriously. To be 100% honest, I thought people were just being dramatic haha. Karma is real, folks!! And morning sickness is INTENSE! And who even called it "morning" sickness?!? It's more like all day throwing up, and the rest of day feeling like you're about to throw up at any given moment!
I started getting sick around 6 weeks, and it didn't let up for 1 second! Not until about 16-17 weeks. It was seriously so awful. I tried to stay positive because I knew how lucky and blessed we were to have gotten pregnant so easily, but I really struggled with it. I'm not one to just sit around in bed all day. It drives me crazy. One of these day I'd like to personally thank Meredith Grey for helping me through those months ha.
It's a hard stage because, if you kept it a secret until 12 weeks, most people don't know you're pregnant. You don't LOOK pregnant. And there's no plus side, like being able to feel them kick/move around yet. To sum it up, you essentially just feel like poop without the "fun" perks of pregnancy.
So enough rambling. Here's what I found helped me:
Almost immediately, my eating habits drastically changed. I used to eat a ton of veggies and protein but I couldn't stand the sight of them! Sweet things, even fruit, made me throw up...so I was prettttyyy limited in what I could keep down. I found that simple carbs were the best thing for my stomach because they are broken down easily. I ate a lot of dry cereal, toast, rice cakes, etc. I felt terrible about this because I wanted to load my baby up with nutrients, but I couldn't stomach anything nutritious AND I wasn't allowed to exercise! My Doctor reminded me that the baby is sooo tiny and at that point, gets everything it needs from the prenatal. I think during this time you just have to do the best you can do. I found a COUPLE of veggies I could stomach, and I could handle sliced turkey, eggs, and tuna - so I ate what I could and tried not to worry about the rest. During the 2nd and 3rd Trimester I've been able to eat pretty close to my normal diet. Remember: it doesn't last forever!!
Bloating and dare I say, constipation, are suuuuper common during the first trimester. No one likes to talk about it because well, eww. But the struggle is real! My body starting retaining a lot of water which made me feel even worse so, even though it was the very last thing I wanted to do, I started drinking a TON! The thought and taste of water made me gag, so I drank a lot of la croix, water with a million lemons (helps with nausea too!).
I posted tips on staying motivated to exercise during pregnancy here, but I wanted to mention it again because it's a HUGE help during this time! Due to some complications with my pregnancy early on, I wasn't allowed to exercise from about weeks 6-11. Boo! It sucked but I think, realistically, I wouldn't have been doing much anyway. I felt sick 24/7 and was drained, YET I did set a goal to go walking 5x a week (that's all the Doctor would let me do). It wasn't much but it kept up my habits so when I felt better, and was approved to exercise again, I jumped right back into my regular routine. Point is, do something! Anything! Even a 30 minute walk with give you a little more energy and release some endorphins. When the sickness and tiredness decreases, at least you won't be starting from square one!
4. STAY BUSY
This one would have probably made me mad if someone told me this while I felt so sick, like...hello! I'm growing a human being here - YOU stay busy! But it's true!! The days I felt the worse were the days I didn't have as much going on (aka the weekends). When I laid in bed all day, wanting to die, all I could think about was wanting to die. Which made me want to die even more haha. Dramatic? Maybe. I'm not saying plan a bunch of trips and events...but even just making a little "to-do" list each day helped distract me from how crummy I felt.
5. FIND A REMINDER
Like I said, those first few weeks/months are so hard because you can't feel the baby kick yet, you don't know the gender, and you're not showing - basically you just feel like you're sick and bloated for 3 months. Luckily, because of those complications, I got to see my OBGYN on the reg. Meaning we got to see our baby develop through the ultrasounds week to week. I kept those ultrasound pictures next to my bed to remind me that it's WORTH it. All the crappy side-effects mean that your body is adapting. On days I'm struggling with achy joints, insomnia, etc. I go into her room and look through her baby clothes. It keeps me sane and gives me a clear perceptive of WHY I'm doing this.